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Shaping Residential Rental Licensing in Fort Collins.

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Presentation on theme: "Shaping Residential Rental Licensing in Fort Collins."— Presentation transcript:

1 Shaping Residential Rental Licensing in Fort Collins

2 How did we get here?  Quality of life in residential neighborhoods has continued to be a subject of increasing concern throughout Fort Collins  Five City Council Study Sessions conducted since January to discuss related issues  The City recognizes the problem and has a responsibility to address the needs of citizens

3 Actions already taken to address issues  Public Nuisance Ordinance (enacted in 2000)  Ongoing programs and services through various City departments, i.e.:  Community mediation program  City/CSU Liaison position and activities  Party Partners educational programs  Neighborhood task force  Installation of Nuisance Hotline ( )

4 Actions taken since January 2004 Amendments made to nuisance ordinances or related procedures  Noise ordinance additions  Increase in fine schedule and new procedures for noise violations  Barking dog: first time warning no longer required  Change in abatement procedures for weeds and rubbish

5 Actions taken since January 2004 Police Services pilot party project  Extra patrol on Friday and Saturday evenings  Implemented Spring and Fall 2004  Funded for March – October 2005

6 Current direction from Council: Explore mandatory residential rental licensing Develop a rental licensing ordinance and related standards for Council consideration Research other communities; find the best fit for Fort Collins Ask the community for input on the potential licensing variables

7 Community Outreach and Feedback – Summer/Fall ,300 responses ( , mail, phone, etc.) Online survey and fcgov.com/rental website August 30, 2004 public meeting Meetings with stakeholder groups Landlords and property managers Neighbors Affordable housing specialists CSU students Media, Cable 27 programs, utility bills

8 Feedback Summary Great deal of polarization surrounding rental licensing Landlords and property managers argue licensing is bureaucratic, costly and ineffective Neighbors argue licensing will prevent further neighborhood deterioration Tenants, others split on the issue ASCSU does not support “3 unrelated” law

9 Are You in Favor of Rental Licensing?

10 Three Areas Where Majority of Respondents Agree 1. Current ordinance limiting occupancy to three-unrelated adults is not effective 2. Laws that are on the books need to be enforced 3. More education of tenants, landlords and neighbors is needed

11 Options for Council Consideration Project team recommended a “package” of five components. Council directed the team to move forward on all 5 items: 1. Amend the three-unrelated ordinance 2. Create a licensing process for units that can safely accommodate more than three unrelated adults 3. Amend the Public Nuisance Ordinance to include potential for revocation of the ability to rent 4. Implement a mandatory rental registration program 5. Add a Nuisance Gathering provision to the code

12 #1 Amend the “3 Unrelated Ordinance” Change it from criminal to civil infraction Lowers the burden of proof Allows prosecution to call defendants to the witness stand Expands the kinds of evidence that can be offered in court Allows cases to be heard by a hearing officer avoiding increases in Municipal Court caseload

13 #2 Licensing For More Than Three Unrelated Adults Only license units that can safely and effectively house more than three adults Conditions for receiving license: Mandatory inspection to ensure rental housing standards are met and determine maximum occupancy Accommodations for off-street parking Absence of or a minimum number of previous code violations Tenants must sign lease addendum or information disclosure form that summarizes City codes

14 #2 Licensing For More Than Three Unrelated Adults Council interested in “overlay zone” concept A license for “more than 3 unrelated” could only be obtained in areas other than single family neighborhoods Economic study will be conducted to determine impact of different scenarios on housing market Further analysis of crime and nuisance data underway Affordable housing providers subject to federal requirements would be exempted

15 #3Amend Public Nuisance Ordinance The current maximum penalty is a court order requiring abatement plus recovery cost Amend so that the maximum penalty would include a court order revoking the ability to rent a property

16 #4Mandatory Rental Registration Why registration? Shorten period of time needed to identify the property owners Provide more reliable, current information Hope to accomplish online Some units, such as apartment complexes with on-site managers would have fewer reporting requirements Could be applied city-wide or in certain targeted areas

17 #4Mandatory Rental Registration Details will be developed with input from stakeholders Database could include: Name of local contact person Verification that current tenant names can be made available at request of the City Confirmation that lease addendum has been signed by tenants Confirmation that rental standard codes are being met

18 #5Nuisance Gatherings Provision Based on an existing ordinance in East Lansing, Michigan Addresses social gatherings or parties which result in nuisance behaviors occurring on neighborhood properties Provision for recouping costs to the City Would be in conjunction with continued efforts to enforce current nuisance laws

19 Timeline October 12: Most recent City Council study session re: team’s recommendations October – December: Project team work sessions and research; stakeholder meetings January 25, 2005: Council study session on refined recommendations; followed by regular Council meetings to finalize program implementation

20 To provide additional feedback Write or call City Council: City of Fort Collins City Council P. O. Box 580 Fort Collins, CO (City Manager’s Office) Call Tess Heffernan ( ) to discuss issues or arrange for additional presentations on this subject.


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